Ahead of the Acura Sports Car Challenge weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Michelin provides pre-race statistics, notes and data.
DPi, 9 sets, IMSA Medium
GT Le Mans, 9 sets, GTLM range
GT Daytona, 6 sets, Michelin Pilot Sport GT S8M
Michelin Pilot Challenge
GS – 8 Sets, Michelin Pilot Sport GT S8M
TCR – 7 Sets, Michelin Pilot Sport GT S9M
LMP3 – 5 sets, Michelin Pilot Sport GT S8M & S9M
Range Change: For the first time since IMSA’s return to racing in July, Michelin will bring its softer of two slick compound options for several classes to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. This is the IMSA Medium compound for DPi and Michelin Pilot Sport GT S8M for the GT Daytona and GS classes.
Mid-Year Mileage, Records Update: Counting practice, qualifying and races, Michelin has completed more than 79,000 laps and 277,000 miles of competition in the first six race weekends of 2020. Teams and drivers have also set 20 new qualifying or race lap records this year, bringing the total set since becoming the Official Tire of IMSA in 2019 to 110.
Doubleheader Prep: The Michelin Pilot Challenge has its first doubleheader weekend at Mid-Ohio. To account for this, IMSA and Michelin have worked together to increase the allocations to 8 (GS) and 7 (TCR) sets of tires, respectively.
Weather Changes: Most of the 2019 weekend at Mid-Ohio was spent with cloud cover, rain and cold temperatures. Michelin engineers recorded ambient temperatures from a low of 50 degrees Fahrenheit to a high of 69 degrees during Sunday’s WeatherTech race. Track temperatures weren’t much warmer, as they hovered from 53 to 85 throughout the weekend.
The 2018 race was similar with ambient temperatures in the 60s and track temperatures in the mid-to-high 70s.
Chasing Grip: Mid-Ohio’s track surface evolves frequently throughout the course of a day. It’s very slick, which tests the limits of tire adhesion and performance.
Seeking to Extend Streaks: Acura (DPi), Porsche (GTLM) and Lexus (GTD) are the only brands to win WeatherTech Championship races at Mid-Ohio since IMSA returned to the track in 2018. Meanwhile Porsche (GS) and Hyundai (TCR) won last year’s Pilot Challenge race.
Pilot Challenge Manufacturer Notes: Five different automotive brands have won the first five races in GS: Mercedes-AMG, Audi, McLaren, BMW and Chevrolet. The other three GS class brands, Aston Martin, Ford and Porsche, have all scored at least one podium this year. McLaren, Audi, Aston Martin and Mercedes-AMG have qualified on pole.
Hyundai’s Run of Form: At the track where it won its first TCR race in May 2019, Hyundai now goes for its fifth straight TCR win in the first of two races this weekend. Since IMSA’s return to racing, Hyundai has claimed 11 of 12 possible TCR podiums. Honda ended the podium sweep run last race, and races on home soil here this weekend.
Remembering Reese: Michael Lewis, who shared the winning Hyundai with Mark Wilkins at Mid-Ohio last year, noted a repeat win in 2020 would carry added significance. The loss of team member Reese Imhoff to cancer occurred just prior to the 2019 Mid-Ohio race in May. The team developed the “Reese is a beast” message of hope in response. Now, the revised 2020 Mid-Ohio date falls in September, during pediatric cancer awareness month. Herta’s No. 33 car, driven by Ryan Norman and Gabby Chaves, carries Imhoff’s favorite number.
The Torque Show: As at the previous five races since IMSA’s return to racing in July, The Torque Show, presented by Michelin, will air live during the weekend from its remote studio in Los Angeles rather than on site. Stay tuned to its social media channels (@TorqueShowLive) for air times.